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  • For one, out of curiosity, what is this hoping to achieve? I got a loose sense that Wikia wants to organize all templates by how they are specifically used. Where is this going?

    What if a template doesn't fall into one specific type? There have been a few I've had to think about. For example, a template that is for data and navigation. Assume only the primary focus?

    The non-"article" isn't quite specific enough. Are all template's not in the main (0) namespace supposed to fall here? Are pages in say the Project namespace not considered articles?

    The "machine," as you will, classified every infobox, most of them as unknown. Why? I can't find any way of seeing all templates in a type. The new Insight page is useless because of this classification choice. The Insights pages states "The purpose of these templates is unknown..." Is this a collection of the templates classified as unknown or the templates that are not classified at all? If the prior, it doesn't (yet) work.

    Types edits should be logged on Special:RecentChanges so we know when something was changed. If anyone can edit them, Admins and other editors should be able to see whether or not a random user decides to change them.

    Those are my thoughts so far though I'm sure to have more later.

    Edit: Ah yes. We should also have a separate type for template documentation, unless there's a simple desire for us to place these in non-article.

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    • Thanks for the feedback! The feature should not actually be enabled just yet (we're looking into that), but we'll have more info about this feature very soon - stay tuned to the Staff Blog.

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    • Well then, I guess I got a head start.

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    • Indeed you did :)

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    • What feature is this referring to? Is there another thread I can read up on?

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    • Tone Float wrote:
      What feature is this referring to? Is there another thread I can read up on?

      See Help:Template types.

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    • I wonder if the intent is to no longer categorize templates, since the two approaches seem completely redundant.

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    • SethFu wrote:
      I wonder if the intent is to no longer categorize templates, since the two approaches seem completely redundant.

      The end of the help page states the two are separate and completely different so I doubt this is some sort of replacement. If that is the intent, it's a bad one as it severely limits organizing templates.

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    • Indeed - it is entirely separate to categories, and has zero effect on normal MediaWiki categorizing of template pages.

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    • Good to confirm.

      I've noticed that this addition has been disabled for the time being. I added types to a good number of our templates. Will the edits I made still be there when the feature is enabled when intended or will I have to add them again?

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    • I believe the data should be preserved.

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    • I think it would also help Wikia with easily seeing how many of what purpose of template there are on one wiki — after all, "Category:Infoboxes", "Category:Infobox templates", "Category:Infobox Templates", etc. are all different category names, not to mention that international wikis will have entirely different category names? But that's just an assumption (:

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    • I've just returned to editing some templates that I was working on yesterday evening, and up pops this strange box.

      My first thought was that I must have forgotten to log in; but that was quickly dis-proven so I came over here to search for an answer.

      I must say that if it is going to pop up all the time it's going to be a right old pain.

      My question straight of is: what category does documentation go into? The same as the template that it hangs off? That's is what I'm assuming for now... and then hoping that it's easily changed if that is not the case.

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    • Can we get more information about this? I don't really understand what it's for: will we get the ability to add our own types per wiki? I have some templates which are sub templates, used for making infoboxes less filled with code and also so they may be used in infoboxes easily over and over, but they don't come under most of the categories listed.

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    • There is a brief explanation of it in a recent office hours thread (see w:c:portability:Thread:2990#4.

      Anyway, the short and simple explanation is that this is  one way to understand what templates people use,  and to better design tools to facilitate their use.

      It is also helping the drive towards structured data. 

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    • We'll have a blog post up about this soon with more background info.

      A documentation template would be a "non-article" type. You can always re-classify a template later if needed.

      Expanding and/or changing the available types really depends on the feedback we receive.

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    • Kirkburn wrote:
      We'll have a blog post up about this soon with more background info.

      A documentation template would be a "non-article" type. You can always re-classify a template later if needed.

      Expanding and/or changing the available types really depends on the feedback we receive.

      I think the non-article type is too broad. For example, most (or all ) wikias have a "license templates", that aren't used in the main namespace, but are used in files. There are also templates that are mainly used to describe other templates, and in some cases they may be used in a main namespace too.

      For example, how would one classify the demo template?

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    • Dessamator wrote: I think the non-article type is too broad. For example, most (or all ) wikias have a "license templates", that aren't used in the main namespace, but are used in files. There are also templates that are mainly used to describe other templates, and in some cases they may be used in a main namespace too.

      For example, how would one classify the demo template?

      There's also various "sub templates" that some people make which are used to split code that could be used multiple times (for example, this (see the source if you want to know what it does) and this (it has documentation to explain)). These kind of templates aren't infoboxes, but neither do they match any of the types listed. (both created by me for that particular wiki, but most wiki's tend to have templates like this)

      You rightly point out that "non-article" is just too vague and is more like a "this template doesn't match any of the other types"

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    • I think that (Template:Demo) could be described as a 'data' template, but it's a good example of one that's not a perfect fit. We're never going to be able to make a perfect list, but we want to try and get close.

      We simply aren't very interested in templates that aren't used on content articles, so it doesn't really matter if there's of lot of variation in the 'Non-article' bucket. If they do get used on content articles, you'd classify them based on that usage.

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    • Dessamator wrote:

      For example, how would one classify the demo template?

      As "absent", apparently. :P

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    • Kirkburn wrote:

      We simply aren't very interested in templates that aren't used on content articles, so it doesn't really matter if there's of lot of variation in the 'Non-article' bucket. If they do get used on content articles, you'd classify them based on that usage.

      So anything that doesn't impact upon article content is fine categorised as Non-article?

      I can work with that.  Thanks, it takes away a lot of the pndering. :)

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    • Kirkburn wrote:

      We simply aren't very interested in templates that aren't used on content articles, so it doesn't really matter if there's of lot of variation in the 'Non-article' bucket. If they do get used on content articles, you'd classify them based on that usage.

      This is what I was believing when I seen the "non-article" type to start with, though "non-article" isn't specific enough if you mean content articles (what is counted as a page on the wiki).

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    • Fair thought - I've added a mention of "content" to the help page info to try and assist with that understanding.

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    • What about redirect templates, particularly those that are shortcuts to templates that appear on content pages? Non-article doesn't seem quite fair, but the only other type that "fits" is Unknown.

      The simplest solution, IMO, would be to add a mention of redirect templates to the description of Content templates. Another solution, of course, would be create a Redirect type, but that strikes me as less than ideal.

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    • TheRealPella wrote:
      What about redirect templates, particularly those that are shortcuts to templates that appear on content pages? Non-article doesn't seem quite fair, but the only other type that "fits" is Unknown.

      I've been working on the principal that the redirect takes the same type as the target.

      It would be useful if there was some kind of filter that automatically recognised */doc as being Non-article though... I'm getting sick of having to scroll to find that every time I edit something.

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    • I'm happy to provide a bit of context on Template Types. You can read more on Tim's blog Template Types: A Smarter Categorization System but here's my direct take on this feature, as the Product Manager responsible:

      The goal for Template Types is to understand the purpose of every template so Wikia can provide better editing features and a better reader experience on mobile.

      @Yatalu already said it quite well, above. :) We have the ability to automatically set the Type of a good majority of templates via pattern recognition but as Wikia hosts 400,000+ communities, the variety of construction and naming conventions makes it impossible to accurately understand all templates. This is why we built the tool to have admins and other users participate in classification.

      When we have 100% of templates classified we can achieve some interesting things: Rather than treating all templates the same we can start to build specialized experiences for each unique type. The first example of this is the new “Pages without Infoboxes” Insights list that released today. We also want to use this information when people are editing articles — rather than suggesting “add a template” we can suggest “This page does not have a quote. Would you like to add one?”

      The second benefit of Template Types is it allows Wikia to understand the information in a deeper way so we can more intelligently display it on non-desktop screens. (This is an important goal of our Portability initiative as a whole.) For example — Navbox templates look great and are clicked a lot by readers on desktop, but they look messy on the mobile web and are rarely tapped. We’re following a pattern set by Wikipedia and are hiding them on the mobile web skin. Other templates, however, we will make look even better. Soon, context-links and quotes will look sleek and different from regular paragraph text.

      The third benefit (which is kind of a freebie) is Template Types give us an opportunity to make template management and organization more powerful on your community. This is manifested in Special:Templates right now, but I expect this data will be utilized in other locations around the wiki.

      Over the past few weeks we’ve worked hard to decide the exact list that appears in the feature. We ultimately landed on this list of 12 because people were the most successful at selecting the correct option from this list. I 100% expect this list to change over time and we are very seriously looking into ways to make the list customizable, while still retaining the structure we need in order for this endeavor to be worthwhile.

      In more immediate news we're working on some logic to automatically classify /doc templates and others as "Non-article." We also have a few improvements that should release in early December to make this a nicer experience.

      Feedback and more questions welcomed!

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    • Not totally sure if this has been discussed (I'm too lazy to read it all) but this feature was activated on our wiki, and it is incorrectly labeling our notices as navboxes. I'm assuming this is because they use mbox, but I'm not totally sure.

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    • Ohmyn0 wrote:

      The second benefit of Template Types is it allows Wikia to understand the information in a deeper way so we can more intelligently display it on non-desktop screens. (This is an important goal of our Portability initiative as a whole.) For example — Navbox templates look great and are clicked a lot by readers on desktop, but they look messy on the mobile web and are rarely tapped. We’re following a pattern set by Wikipedia and are hiding them on the mobile web skin.

      I have navboxes that I styled using <ul> and made sure would look right on mobile (where they turn into normal vertical lists). Will I be able to keep them or will the server take them away and disregard the fact they are mobile-friendly?

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    • Ohmyn0 wrote:
      The first example of this is the new “Pages without Infoboxes” Insights list that released today. We also want to use this information when people are editing articles — rather than suggesting “add a template” we can suggest “This page does not have a quote. Would you like to add one?”

      I'm not a big fan of this kind of use. Most of our pages that do not have infoboxes do not need them or are replaced with something a little different. Same with suggesting templates. One of our quote templates is specific to a group of pages and shouldn't be recommended on other pages.

      Teenbat wrote:
      ...and it is incorrectly labeling our notices as navboxes.

      You still need to review all templates as a "machine" classified them initially and there are mistakes across all types.

      SethFu wrote:
      Will I be able to keep them or will the server take them away and disregard the fact they are mobile-friendly?

      Another concern. These types might assume something won't work on mobile because of the type, but the templates could have been constructed to be mobile friendly.

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    • DEmersonJMFM wrote: You still need to review all templates as a "machine" classified them initially and there are mistakes across all types.

      I know, but since we have so many using the mbox template, and all of them are being labeled as navboxes, it's really annoying. I'll trudge through it, but I won't like it.

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    • Teenbat wrote:

      I know, but since we have so many using the mbox template, and all of them are being labeled as navboxes, it's really annoying. I'll trudge through it, but I won't like it.

      It's annoying, but you would still be adding them if they weren't added at all. I had to retype a large number of doc and userbox templates as well.

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    • SethFu wrote:

      I have navboxes that I styled using <ul> and made sure would look right on mobile (where they turn into normal vertical lists). Will I be able to keep them or will the server take them away and disregard the fact they are mobile-friendly?

      I really hope that we can move this decision making from Wikia to the admins. (For example, you may say "yes I want this template to appear on mobile but the admins on another wiki may say "no, I don't want navboxes on mobile.")

      After all, you are most familiar with your content and templates!

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    • Teenbat wrote:

      I know, but since we have so many using the mbox template, and all of them are being labeled as navboxes, it's really annoying. I'll trudge through it, but I won't like it.

      Send me a Wall message to your Special:Templates and I'll try to help you out.

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    • I think I got most of them fixed, so it's OK.

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    • DEmersonJMFM wrote:

      I'm not a big fan of this kind of use. Most of our pages that do not have infoboxes do not need them or are replaced with something a little different. Same with suggesting templates. One of our quote templates is specific to a group of pages and shouldn't be recommended on other pages.

      Fair enough — not all pages need an infobox or quote. (We already know that not all pages need images either.)

      The general idea is when we have knowledge and data about each template we have more information to work with to provide options as you build, organize, and administrate your communities.

      Do you have any ideas on how you’d like to see these template types utilized on Wikia?

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    • Ohmyn0 wrote: Do you have any ideas on how you’d like to see these template types utilized on Wikia?

      Having a dropdown (not only in WYSIWYG editors) to see what templates exist and go to their template page in a new tab for reference would be convenient. Types would be a way to sort that list. Want to insert a spoiler notice ? Click Templates > Notices > Spoilers and you're taken to that page. Need a navbox? Templates > Navboxes > Pick the relevant one.

      Or better yet, have a way for admins to configure a preset include string for each template that would insert an empty or default template call into the editor (dream big, they say). So you click Templates > Notices > Spoilers and it inserts something like {{spoilers|<section> or <page>|<subject matter>}}, ready to be filled in.

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    • I personally like the concept/idea of the new feature — it allows for a more generic and larger categorization of sorts than just categorizing does, and will allow for more consistency over whatever wiki you go to (including non-English wikis, where you wouldn't even understand category names). However, a few concerns:

      • the size of the dialog — is this new feature so important that it must take up your entire screen? Or even more, because I have to scroll down to read all of it.
      • I can't publish new templates or edit existing templates anymore without at least indicating the template type.
      • current categorization may not cover all uses and "I don't know" might end up being disproportionally large on wikis where it doesn't. Also, "I don't know" is not really accurate, since I'm sure we do know what it's for, but it's just not in the options provided?

      Just in general, I think it's a bit too "in your face" and I've had complaints already because our wiki extensively uses templates (even with users who don't usually edit in template namespace) for internationalization amongst other things. Every minor edit to already existing templates now requires editors to indicate a template type.

      What about a dropdown menu with a "What is this?" behind it that links to Help:Template Types? This would be way less intrusive!

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    • "Adding types to your templates is going to make your wikia community smarter..."

      Holy cow, how come the education systems of the western world haven't introduced this to their textbooks.

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    • So do I absolutely have to categorize my templates or can I just like...ignore it all together?

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    • You can ignore it and most people do, but it's really the ideal that every page on your wiki is in a category, and that every category on your wiki (except perhaps the one at the top of the tree) is a subcategory of another category.

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    • All my templates were categorized a while ago by infobox, navbox, table, etc so I don't get the point of having a defined type.

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    • Also an addition to my last post: we definitely need a type "documentation" — if your wiki well-documents, it'd mean half of the pages in Template: namespace would be documentation.

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    • Yatalu wrote:
      Also an addition to my last post: we definitely need a type "documentation" — if your wiki well-documents, it'd mean half of the pages in Template: namespace would be documentation.

      That would work, except in cases where people document the template in the same page as the template itself. So the page acts as both the documentation and the source code, leaving people confused about what tag it should be under.

      Ultimately the problem is that many templates have too many functions which makes it hard to choose only one tag for it. That's why categories are better in some cases.

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    • Well yeah but even then there'll be a lot of Template: pages that are only documentation.

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    • Yatalu wrote:
      Well yeah but even then there'll be a lot of Template: pages that are only documentation.

      Staff has indicated that they plan to automatically detect those /doc subpages. So they'll all end up as non-article. The category will possibly be a hint to what kind of non-article template it is. Maybe the categories should also show up in Special:Templates.

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    • Hands up who's sick of scrolling this thing! Add this to your personal common.css to get rid of the descriptions and chop the box down to a better size:

      #TemplateClassificationEditForm {
          font-size: 90%;
      }
       
      #TemplateClassificationEditForm p {
          display:none;
          margin-bottom:10px;
      }

      It's speeding things up for me. Hope someone else finds it useful. Don't put it in the site wide CSS - other users may want to see the descriptions.

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    • Thanks for sharing! I just made myself a custom code too based on your code. Original look is this and the result looks much more compact.

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    • @Yatalu - great going... that's the sort of thing I was after: I think it was the !Important that I was missing, I try to avoid using that and forget about it.

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    • A FANDOM user
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